Molly, a drug also known as ecstasy or scientifically as MDMA, can be detected in some bodily fluids for up to three days. It may stay in your system longer depending on the dose. Molly may still be found in scalp hair after three months.

Molly is detectable in your body for anywhere from around two days to three months after ingestion depending on the type of drug test used.

This is because different drug testing methods have different detection windows. These are based on how the drug is absorbed and broken down in the body.

Urine testing

Molly is detectable in urine up to three days after ingestion. MDMA that enters the bloodstream is carried to the liver, where it’s broken down and excreted. If you take a high dose of molly, it may be present in urine around a half hour after ingestion.

An older study from 2009 suggests that differences in urine pH can affect how quickly the drug is excreted. Having alkaline (higher-pH) urine is associated with a slower urine excretion rate.

Note that most typical urine tests won’t detect MDMA. On the other hand, some medications can cause false positives for MDMA in urine tests.

Blood testing

Molly can typically be detected in blood for around one to two days after ingestion, though in rare cases it may be detected for slightly longer. It’s absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and reaches peak levels two hours after it’s taken. Over time, the drug is transported to the liver, where it’s broken down.

Saliva testing

Molly is detectable in saliva for one to two days after ingestion. Since it’s typically taken by mouth, it appears quickly in the saliva. Its concentration peaks after two hours before beginning to decrease at four hours.

Hair testing

Molly is detectable in scalp hair up to about three months after ingestion. Once in the bloodstream, small amounts of the drug reach the network of tiny blood vessels that feed the hair follicles.

Hair grows at a rate of around 1 centimeter (cm) per month, and the segment of hair that tests positive usually corresponds to the time of ingestion.

Molly is usually detectable in bodily fluids for one to three days after ingestion. However, it may be detected for up to five days or more in some circumstances. Like other drugs, it’s detectable in hair for several months.

Most fluid-based detection windows are based on a single dose ranging from around 50 to 160 milligrams (mg). Higher doses may take longer to leave your system.

Detection times are based on the time you last took the drug. Taking multiple doses over a period of several hours can lengthen the detection window.

After molly is ingested, it’s quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. It can reach the brain in 15 minutes if taken on an empty stomach.

Molly causes an increase in the level of brain chemicals that lead to the effects you feel from the drug. The three chemicals are:

  • serotonin, which affects mood, sleep, and appetite, and can lead to the release of hormones that increase feelings of trust
  • dopamine, which raises energy and activity levels
  • norepinephrine, which causes higher heart rates and blood pressure

Taking molly also increases the levels of a hormone that leads to fluid retention in the body, which can cause an electrolyte imbalance if you drink lots of fluids while using the drug.

Molly is absorbed into your intestinal tract after ingestion. Its concentration peaks around two hours after it’s taken. It’s primarily broken down in the liver, where it’s turned into other chemical compounds called metabolites.

Molly has a half-life of approximately eight hours. After that time, half of the drug has been cleared from your system. It takes about 40 hours for 95 percent of the drug to leave your system.

Research suggests that molly’s metabolites can stay in your body five days after the initial dose. However, they usually aren’t measured on conventional drug tests.

Molly is absorbed, broken down, and eliminated faster or slower depending on several factors. These include the overall amount ingested and whether it’s taken in single or multiple doses.

Other factors relate to the drug’s chemical composition. Molly, also called ecstasy or MDMA, is frequently laced with other illegal drugs or chemical compounds even when it’s sold as “pure.”

When ecstasy pills or capsules are combined with other substances, it can affect how long it stays in your system and how long an illegal drug may be detected on a drug screening test.

Finally, a variety of individual factors can affect drug metabolism. These include:

  • age
  • metabolism
  • kidney function
  • liver function
  • genes

There’s nothing you can do to metabolize molly faster. Once it enters your system, your liver needs time to break it down.

Drinking water doesn’t flush molly from your system or neutralize its effects. Since molly increases water retention, drinking excess liquids poses a risk of water intoxication.

Exercising after taking molly can lead to dehydration, which can increase liquid consumption. Molly also affects your heart’s ability to pump blood, which poses risks during exercise.

People may start to feel the effects of molly around 20 minutes to one hour after taking it. It takes about two hours to feel the drug’s peak effects.

Sought-after short-term effects

Some of molly’s sought-after short-term (acute) effects include:

  • euphoria
  • openness to others
  • extraversion and sociability
  • increased sensory perception
  • increased energy
  • sexual arousal
  • wakefulness

Negative short-term effects

Other short-term effects are negative. Some of these may appear alongside the drug high, including:

Taking a high dose of molly can cause an increase in body temperature. This can sometimes lead to kidney failure, heart failure, or death.

Other negative effects can appear during the week after ingesting molly. They may include:

Long-term effects

Long-term (chronic) use is associated with other effects that can occur when you’re not under the influence of the drug. These include:

  • memory impairments
  • problems with decision-making
  • increased impulsivity and lack of self-control
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • heart disease

It takes about three to six hours for a molly high to wear off. Some people take another dose as the effects of the initial dose fade, prolonging the drug high.

Molly’s negative effects tend to appear later and last longer. Mood disruptions such as irritability, anxiety, and depression can last for up to a week after your last dose.

Using molly on a regular basis may lead to effects including depression, heart disease, and reduced cognitive function. However, we still don’t know much about the long-term impact.

Molly usually stays in your system for up to three days, but it can last five or more days in some cases. It’s typically detectable in bodily fluids approximately one to three days after it’s taken. Detection times for hair can span several months.